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The Genesis Of Modern Wiccan Spirituality

Aug 29, 2008
In 1954, a former British civil servant called Gerald Gardner proclaimed that he had received initiation into an ancient nature religion which had survived from pre-Christian European paganism. The practitioners of Gardner's religion were using the name New Forest Coven. Gardner launched an effort to reinvigorate and revive the witchcraft religion by putting together a book named "Witchcraft Today," where he tried to reconstruct the recovered fragments of religious ceremony and belief from the New Forest Coven.

Gardner designated the spiritual tradition as "witchcraft," and called its practitioners "the Wica." He maintained that this latter term came to him from senior initiates of the Coven, and that its use was what led him to consider the possibility that the "Old Religion" might still be in existence. Gardner believed, like most current academics, that this term came from the Old English term "wicca," which is the etymological predecessor to the contemporary term "witch."

There has been a bit of argument as to the accuracy of his idea that he was resurrecting an ancient, matriarchal, original European religion. A few claimants have argued that Gardner had just invented the teachings of witchcraft, compiling fragments of some known archaic spiritual systems and from modern occult practices as needed. Be that as it may, the majority of academics are agreed that Gardner made his assertions with no intention of deceiving. It is widely accepted that Gardner was actually initiated into an early 20th-century revival of the original witchcraft that Gardner had sought, rather than a fully genuine survival of an ancient European religious tradition.

Regardless of the fact that he produced the craft's beliefs in an attempt to continue the Wiccan religion for his generation's descendants, Gardner understood "witchcraft" as a mystery tradition that should require a series of initiations to be properly understood and lived. An English national called Raymond Buckland was granted an initiation into the new mystery tradition from Gardner's own coven, which he named the Isle of Man, and then spread the teachings of witchcraft back to the USA. Wicca gained popularity rapidly in the new world, where a devotional and psychological sea change was in the works.

Since those early days of the craft, a variety of unique permutations of Wiccan-derived paganism have spread widely. Most of these have owed their origin to Gardner's original students who started their own covens and initiated their own members. Some of the other fashionable forms of Wicca have been started by self-initiated mystics and practitioners who crafted their own systems of nature spirituality that center around the original published materials from Gardner and others. These days several these subsets of Gardnerian religion are practiced in a variety of countries and cultures.
About the Author
Dallas is an occult enthusiast who investigates the religious systems of the world in hopes of uncovering the ultimate destiny of the human soul. In his expeditions, he frequently needs to find Wiccan shops for things like sigils, divination tools, crystals, and other types of Wiccan witchcraft supplies. He wishes you great joy on your own spiritual voyage!
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